August 2013

Santa Clara University Names Vice President for University Relations

Santa Clara University announced the selection of James Lyons as the new vice president for university relations.
SANTA CLARA, Calif. Aug 27, 2013—Santa Clara University announced the selection of James Lyons as the new vice president for university relations. He will begin his duties in October. 
Lyons will lead the University’s fundraising, government relations, alumni relations, and marketing and communications activities and will report directly to Santa Clara University President Michael E. Engh, S.J.
Lyons is currently vice president for university relations at the University of Portland in Portland, Ore. with responsibility for development, alumni relations, marketing and communications, and university events.
“Jim’s experience and understanding of the mission and ideals of Jesuit education make him a great addition to the leadership team at Santa Clara. I look forward to working closely with him to advance Santa Clara’s mission,” said Engh. 
Lyons comes to Santa Clara with a wealth of experience in university relations.  In his career, he has worked in increasingly senior leadership positions.
Currently, Lyons is leading the University of Portland’s Rise Campaign, a $175 million fundraising effort, the largest in the university’s 111-year history.  The campaign will end in May 2014. To date more than $162 million has been raised. Lyons also served in the capacity of senior associate vice president of university relations from 2005 to 2008. 
Prior to moving into fundraising, Lyons served as the University of Portland’s dean of admissions from 1998 to 2005. During that six-year time period, applications for admission more than tripled, and the quantity and quality of each incoming freshman class rose.  Additionally, Lyons served as President of the National Catholic Colleges Admission Association.
Before joining the University of Portland, Lyons served as director for enrollment services at Sonoma State University and interim dean of admissions at Seattle University.  
Lyons is drawn to Santa Clara’s rich Jesuit and Catholic tradition. “While it will be difficult to leave the University of Portland community after 15 wonderful years, I look forward to working at a world-class university with so many exciting opportunities and challenges.  I am eager to be a part of the next extraordinary chapter at Santa Clara University,” said Lyons. “Santa Clara has all the ingredients to make a significant and lasting impact — from the Silicon Valley to sites throughout the globe.” 
Lyons has been very active in the community through board leadership for Seton Catholic College Preparatory High School, Catholic Charities of Oregon, and Saturday Academy, as well as service on Our Lady of Lourdes finance council and volunteer youth coaching with Catholic Youth Organization.
Lyons has an undergraduate degree in political science and public administration as well as a master’s degree in public administration from Seattle University. 
Lyons is married with four sons ranging in age from 23 to 10.  His wife, Connie, is active in their community.  She is originally from Northern California and looks forward to being close to family and returning to her roots.
About Santa Clara University
Santa Clara University, a comprehensive Jesuit, Catholic university located 40 miles south of San Francisco in California’s Silicon Valley, offers its more than 8,800 students rigorous undergraduate curricula in arts and sciences, business, theology, and engineering, plus master’s and law degrees and engineering Ph.D.s. Distinguished nationally by one of the highest graduation rates among all U.S. master’s universities, California’s oldest operating higher-education institution demonstrates faith-inspired values of ethics and social justice. For more information, see
Media Contact
Deepa Arora | SCU Communications Director | | (408) 554-5125
University Relations,James Lyons